Episode 6: Getting Things Done

in Articles

Note: I originally posted this article on a personal blog I ran when I was in my late teens and early twenties. I discovered in May 2020 that the Internet Archive had preserved the contents of that blog in its entirety, including some of the media. That blog was an important part of my personal history, so I reposted all of that content on this website for archival purposes. While my politics, opinions, and outlook on the world have changed radically since I wrote those posts between 2009 and 2011, it’s good to know that I was as much of an idiot then as I am now.

I’m currently on a mission to increase my productivity up to a respectable level. Right now, I don’t know about any metric that can effectively measure productivity, so I’m using a very simple metric of my own. Out of the total time not spent on life-sustaining activities (eating, bathing, bathroom breaks etc.), how much time do I spend on things that matter? Things that matter include: learning stuff, reading articles online (the news.YC kind, not the Digg/Reddit kind), programming, reading books, blogging, relaxing, pondering the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything, and spending time with family and friends (talking to friends on the phone is not “spending time” with them). Right now, the measure of my productivity should be between 5% and 10%. I want to get my productivity levels up to around 50%.

Some of the steps I’ve taken to increase my productivity are: 

I’ve also added a productivity blog to NetNewsWire: 43Folders. I don’t have any particular affinity towards the self-help “industry”, but I find that some of the content on 43Folders is actually pretty good (none of that “you can do anything if you put your mind to it” bullshit that sounds nice but doesn’t really help). Another blog that looked interesting was ZenHabits, but I was put off by some of the cheesy posts I saw on the front page (”5 Foolproof Ways to Produce a Burning Desire for Your Goals”. WTF?).

Right now, my mind is less cluttered than it was a week ago. I’m much calmer, and I got a lot of work done today (got through a lot of dry Objective-C documentation, wrote this blog post, spent a lot of time with my parents and still had time left over for other stuff). This routine suits me. Now the only thing I need to fit in here is some light exercise.

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